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Springboks issue statement: 'Allegations of failed tests'

By Ian Cameron
(Photo by Adrian Dennis/AFP via Getty Images)

The Springboks have issued a statement addressing what they have described as ‘unsubstantiated allegations of failed tests’ being spread in the media.

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SA Rugby – who have been under fire this week after Elton Jantjies and the team dietician were sent home to face claims of an affair – have dismissed the latest allegations as unfounded.

It is understood that South African newspaper Rapport were set to run a story alleging five players failed a test for a recreational drug, a week after they published the Jantjies story.

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“SA Rugby is aware that unsubstantiated allegations of failed tests for recreational drugs by Springbok players are circulating among members of the media,” a missive on Saturday read.

“Disappointingly, these allegations have already appeared online despite the absence of any evidence to support them.

“SA Rugby has consistently advised all inquiring media that no such reports have been received by SA Rugby or any player from the only authority permitted to perform such tests, the South African Institute for Drug Free Sport. SA Rugby does not conduct its own tests.

“Despite the absence of any such reports, players and management in Argentina have been contacted to “tell their story”, distracting and destabilising the entire camp in the build-up today’s Test against Argentina in Buenos Aires.

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“SA Rugby wishes to repeat that it has no evidence of any adverse analytical findings for any kind of drug – be it performance enhancing or recreational – by Springbok players and regards the publication or the threat to publish such allegations as a deliberate attempt to sabotage the team’s preparations.”

It’s the second PR distraction the Springboks – who face Argentina tonight in the Rugby Championship – have had to face in the last six days.

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Yesterday both flyhalf Jantjies and dietician Zeenat Simjee have denied that they were involved in an affair that saw the pair sent home to South Africa by SA Rugby last Sunday.

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“I do not want to say much about the newspaper article, except that it contains many untruths and half-truths,” said Jantjies in his statement. “For the record: The Springboks dietician Zeenat Simjee was never with me at either of the two guest houses that I stayed at. She is a good professional, and good family friend and nothing more. That her good name is now being dragged through the mud is unfair and shameful.

“It is my priority to now concentrate on getting professional career back on track and wish to do so with privacy.”

Jantjies also offered an apology in the same statement.

“I am aware that newspaper articles about my recent behaviour may have caused a lot of disappointment, distress, and anger to many people, and I apologise unreservedly,” said Jantjies.

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